30 March 2014

Evidence Audio: Pay once, enjoy your whole life


You know, from time to time, you get some (nice) surprises, when you less weren't expecting it.
By a casual, I have answered back to a post (in Seymour Duncan's forum), where the Original Poster was asking "which is the best cable for you and why".

My answer was that "After testing a bunch of cables, from the cheapest Chinese to the expensive ones, I went to Mogami 2524 bulk cables" and that "While Vovox (Sonorus) and Evidence Audio (The Lyric HG) where in the top of the pyramid, Mogami's was just slighly under those in tone but, way lower in price" and that "while My Lyric HG broke, my Mogami's last still".

Well, you never know which eyes are reading you.
I've received a mail from Toni Marinello (Evidence Audio), same day, few hours later.

An Unique and Exemplar Customer Service

Toni's mail was short, barely a telegram but, with just what matters. He said he read in SD forum that my Lyric HG broke and, asked me if he could do something to help me.

My fault. I remember I read a nice interview to Toni Marinello in The Tone Quest digital fanzine, long time ago. I remember very clearly the key figures of such an interview but, I completely forgot the name of da man to be honest.

So, I was thinking that Toni was some kind of Customer Service Representative that was interested on washing Brand Image or, that maybe, Evidence Audio had a nice post-sale service, at the end.

In that scenario, my answer was something like: "hi Toni, thank you. Well, I don't know if you can do something for me. I bought the cable in that online store some time ago and, it broke just playing. You know, you move while you perform, and the cable breaks".

Typical, right?.
How many cables have broken due to the messes that occur while you move while playing?.
What do you do, then?.
You usually buy (or craft) one more and, maybe a new brand/model, with the secret expectation that, this time, it will last longer.

Ok. I have sent back my answer to Tony expecting to receive something like "We are very sorry. This is cable broken by a bad use, etc., etc.". But, what I received back was an answer llike "My cables are warranted for life. I've already talked to store X and I will make a replacement cable for you. The store will place soon an order for me and, I will include such a cable for you". I wanted to send me the Forte (more indicated for guitar to pedal board applications, because it's more flexible), instead of the Lyric HG.

I wrote back a mail saying how gratefully surprised me and thank you him for his interest and kind offer.
I've explained my experience with several of his products: Monorail (with George's L connectors), The Siren II, The Lyric HG and The Forte.

I've explained to him that I gave up trying to mount patch cables with Monorail using George's L connectors (as he suggested, originally), because it was a waste of time with very low success ratio.

Also, that I loved the Siren but, that it would be a nice thing if he was preparing some cables with an extreme with those metallic clamp connectors often seen in combo speakers. In that way I could upgrade my 3 combos.

And, also that being the Forte a great cable, in my honest opinion, it hasn't the same tone (or lack of tone, as per himself words) than the Lyric HG, that the Forte sounded warmer, not so EQ evenly sounding and slightly less defined and chiming as the Lyric HG. For this, I wanted him to send me a Lyric HG replacement that I would use for the run pedal board to amp or just for recording.

He answered me back that, even being a single-man company, he cares about all his customers the same and, he loves to do it that way. That he was glad to have to opportunity to update me with its upgrades and enhancements.

He understood my issues with Monorail / George's L connectors and, explained me that, after some time (I bet that based on customers feedback), he developed a perfect connectors system to work with his Monorail system (SIS) and linked me to his page, which has an impressive video showing how one of his Monorail cables mounted with the SIS system, was supporting the weight of a combo amp!!!.
Watch this video!.

He also pointed me to a page where I could buy the Siren with such a clamp connectors and, that this was released some time ago.

Finally, he understood my point with the Forte but, let me know that the Forte was re-engineered and that now sound exactly the same as the Lyric HG and, it's more expensive, because each thread of the double multi-thread core wires were insulated with Enamel (as big part of pickups' coil wires!!!).

So, I've thanked them again for the great update and, sent the original purchasing info for him to discuss the way with the store. I am waiting that replacement cable.

Pay it once, enjoy it your whole life

As already mentioned above, there are few cables that I will put on the top of the pyramid and, in my personal tests, tone-wise, the best sounding cables where Vovox Sonorus and Evidence Audio The Lyric HG, in every single variable: punch, loudness, definition, low microphonics, tone preservation, plain frequential response, etc. But both presented same issues: they were so thick and rigid that weren't unsuitable for real performance (at least that you stand up quiet as a mummy).

The Mogami 2524 sounded to me slightly better than the Forte and slightly worst that those two heavy weights but, price-wise, the Mogami was way more affordable than any of those and, I could buy the bulk cable to make my patch, cords and cables to the lengths I needed. That's why I went for Mogami 2524, without any doubt.

To be honest, I didn't know that Evidence Audio offered a "for life warranty" and, if I knew that in some point of time, I would probably though that this was just "snake oil".
But, evidently, Evidence Audio is taking really seriously his compromise and, this completely changes my perception of what is really expensive or affordable.

How many cables have broken due to the messes that occur while you move while playing, in your life?.

Evidence Audio cables are the hell expensive, indeed. If you think you should buy again a replacement cable, then you end searching for a more reasonable alternative, as I did.
But understand this key point: you buy once, enjoy the whole life.

I don't know of any other product in musical world (honestly, even out of the musical environment) offered with such a level of warranty and compromise!. Only this subject sets completely apart Evidence Audio from other cable makers / assemblers.

I know that there are many people that think that cables make no difference and, this is just snake oil. And, to be honest, I was in the same position long time ago.
But, instead of discussing about something I had never experienced, I bought several cables, of variate prices and design to demonstrate to myself that I was right.
The surprise was to discover that I was wrong and, that cables make real difference, specially in long runs and when your pedalboard has some respectable number of pedals (12 in my tests).

For those that thing this is just snake oil, please, do your own tests (with significative lengths and number of pedals). This is the only way you will be in a real position to discuss about the subject.
For those that already know cables make a difference and, that were thinking on to go for Evidence Audio but, ended with a more affordable and reasonably well sounding cable (as myself), just consider that to buy an Evidence Audio cable is a one-time expense for your whole life.
Can it be considered as expensive from that point of view?.

Unfortunately, the news about the upgrades and enhancements that EA did, aren't easily seen in his own page. Tony has a presence in Thegearpage and, will probably provide right feedback in some social networks tools (facebook, twitter, etc.) but, since I'm not using those, I didn't new about what he enhanced.

Myself, once I can save the money, I will go back to EA stuff, this time knowing that I am getting the best sounding cables for my whole life, paying just once!.

More readings

The Tone Quest Report published a nice report The Truth about Audio Cables, where the interview with Toni Marinella will bring you a lot of interesting technical information about cables and cable makers.

In my own blog, I was discussing about the qualities that a good guitar cable should have, in my entry what is a good guitar cable? (including a video comparing several cables) and, a comparison Mogami vs Evidence Audio.

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